[Throughout this Exhibit, click on any thumbnail image, to see a larger image.]
Curator, Playing Card Museum
The U.S. Playing Card Company
The oldest known playing cards, comparable to the modern kind, came from China about 1000 A.D.
The card suits all symbolized aspects of money: Coins, Strings of Coins, Rich Persons. Each Suit had a hierarchy of nine cards. The idea of the card deck traveled ever westward, and it evolved as it adapted to the local cultures. Cards reached the Middle East by 1200.